Little waddlers arrive at the Oceanarium!

Posted: 5th August, 2016

A new colony of penguin ’toddlers ‘ have arrived this week and are already proving to be a hit with their fellow feathered friends and visitors alike.

Six juvenile Humboldt penguins, captive born and bred at Folly Farm in Wales in April 2016, have taken residency alongside the our current waddle of Humboldt penguins. Penguin Beach Encounter, which opened summer 2015, was specifically designed to replicate the birds’ natural habitat featuring 12 nest boxes set within the rockwork, built purposely with a future breeding programme in mind.

Humboldt penguins are listed on the IUCN Red List species status as Vulnerable and currently protected due to a decline in population. Ourcurrent colony of Humboldt penguins were also captive bred in zoos and aquariums as part of an on-going breeding programme.

Dani Farah, Head Penguin Keeper, said: “Humboldt penguins are one of the world’s most threatened species of penguin. To help sustain their populations, zoos and aquariums participate in an international captive breeding programme which we are hoping to be a part.  Alongside this, we want to help educate our visitors about the issues Humboldt's are facing in the wild such as global warming, over fishing and more unusually, habitat destruction, due to their nests being harvested for their droppings which are used as fertiliser."

Humboldt penguins are generally monogamous animals, meaning they pair and mate for life when they reach maturity from around age 2-3 years.

Dani added, “We already have some very strong personalities in the current group and I cannot wait to discover our newest additions’ quirky traits and see who they pair up with.

Two of the new penguins still need names and to celebrate their arrival we're need your help, with a pair of family tickets up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning, just head over to our Facebook page, and comment on our post with your name suggestion. Our penguin keepers will pick their favourites to join their siblings Millie, Monty, Bilbo and Twiglet, on 22nd August.

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